1. Seems faster, seriously. (loading, resuming, choosing attachments/photos/etc)
2. Emoji scroll orientation has changed, and it is the smoothest ever!
3. Group chats can mute for 1 YEAR. Lol (heard some lenovo phones can go up to 1 century, wtf?)
4. Different background images for every individual chats and/or group chats. Awesome! First for whatsapp, and it's on WP.
5. Fonts seems slightly smaller = sharper? Love it this way, more conversations can be seen.
6. Tapping on the person's name within the conversation will bring up his/her info. (is this new?)
7. Chat info will highlight the whatsapp number the person is using (if he/she has multiple numbers stored in its contacts)
8. Better battery utilization? Seems less drainage than prev version.
* I'm downloading this app manually, saving it for future side load.. just incase future updates mess things up. By far, this is the best non-beta version on 8.1